55 Important Affiliate Marketing Statistics: 2022 Market Share Analysis & Data
For people on the lookout for a less taxing source of extra cash flow, having a passive income is a very attractive idea. Before the Internet became a thing, the first things that came to mind when “passive income” was mentioned were classic investments in rental properties, dividend stocks, and bonds. But not long after the birth of the World Wide Web, another passive income source, affiliate marketing, was developed from the concept of revenue sharing or getting commission from business referrals. As a result, this concept was then applied to the budding ecommerce industry abetted by affiliate marketing software.
By 1996, Amazon adopted the same practice by launching its associate program, which became one of the largest and most popular affiliate marketing programs known to date. In this article, we will share with you some of the most recent affiliate marketing statistics that showcase how it has grown into one of the most profitable passive income sources for affiliate marketers, becoming an effective marketing tactic for driving sales and generating revenue for businesses.
First off, let’s define affiliate marketing meaning briefly: put simply, it is a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals. Since its inception, affiliate marketing has penetrated various industries rather quickly and has risen to mainstream status. In this section, let us take a look at its general landscape through the affiliate marketing statistics we have gathered and shared below.
Affiliate marketing spending in the United States reached $6.8 billion in 2020. (Web Market Support, 2021)
16% of ecommerce sales in the US and Canada are generated via affiliate marketing. (Hallur, 2021)
81% of brands use affiliate programs. (Nikolovska, 2021; Web Market Support, 2021)
24% of affiliate marketers’ revenue is generated from the telecom and media niche. (Hallur, 2021)
The United States accounts for 68.83% of affiliate marketers’ traffic source, followed by Europe with 13.39% and the United Kingdom with a traffic share of 4.46%. (Hallur, 2021)
18.7% of affiliate programs fall under the fashion category followed by sports (14.6%) and beauty and health/wellness (11.1%). (99firms Content, 2021)
38% of marketers agree that affiliate marketing is one of the best strategies to acquire new customers. (Web Market Support, 2021)
16% of online orders are driven by affiliate marketing. (Steward, 2021)
15% of digital media revenue is generated by affiliate marketing. (Steward, 2021)
Marketing affiliate spending is expected to grow by 10% within a two-year period. (Steward, 2021)
Cash-back and loyalty programs account for 43% of total affiliate sales, followed by voucher codes (30%). (Mediakix, 2020)
83% of shoppers said that discount codes can influence their purchasing decisions. (Mediakix, 2020)
According to Google Trends, the interest in affiliates has increased by 300% and reached its peak popularity in July of 2020. (Google Trends, 2020)
The impact of affiliate marketing on the US market is estimated to reach $70 billion in sales. (Mediakix, 2020)
An affiliate marketer can earn as much as $1,000 from a single sale. (Benguesmia, 2020)
In 2020, the annual affiliate marketing spending was estimated to be at $12 billion. (SaaS Scout, 2020)
The US accounts for 39% of the affiliate marketing market share. (SaaS Scout, 2020)
Over 50% of affiliate marketing traffic is generated from mobile devices. (SaaS Scout, 2020)
Since April 2020, more than 30% of online shoppers who made their first purchase from a brand used an affiliate link. (Awin, 2021)
Amazon cut its affiliate program commission rates across categories to as low as 1%. (Christie, 2020)
The number of affiliate marketing publishers that applied on Amazon increased by 150% in July of 2020. (Awin, 2021)
Statistics on Affiliate Marketing Merchants, Publishers, and Advertisers
Three of the key players that run the affiliate marketing machine are the merchants, publishers, and advertisers. And on this section, let us take a look at how they benefit from being part of this performance-based marketing channel.
73% of merchants agree their revenue expectations were met by using affiliate marketing. (Satyanarayana, 2019)
As of 2021, 81% of marketers are utilizing affiliate marketing to generate more revenue. (Hallur, 2020)
65% of merchants can earn up to 20% in annual revenue through affiliate marketing. (Hallur, 2021)
91% of merchants carefully and effectively plan their budget for affiliate marketing. (Hallur, 2021)
Meanwhile, 94% of publishers do not stick to just one affiliate marketing network. (Affise; Nikolovska, 2021)
According to 76% of publishers, the best benefit of affiliate marketing is it is easy to monetize. (iAffiliate Management; 99firms Content, 2021)
20% of publishers’ annual income is generated from affiliate marketing. (Inc.com; 99firms Content, 2021)
In 2020, ecommerce company Groupon reported $395.6 million in global revenue.
90% of advertisers agree that affiliate marketing plays a crucial role in digital marketing strategy. (Hallur, 2021)
Affiliate programs are responsible for 30% of advertisers’ entire sales. (SaaS Scout, 2020)
15%–30% of advertisers’ total sales are generated from affiliate marketing. (Authority Hacker; 99firms Content, 2021)
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Top 10 Affiliate Categories by Market Share
Top 10 Affiliate Categories by Market Share Fashion: 18.7
Top 10 Affiliate Categories by Market Share Sports and outdoors: 14.6
Sports and outdoors
Top 10 Affiliate Categories by Market Share Health, wellness, and beauty: 11.1
Health, wellness, and beauty
Top 10 Affiliate Categories by Market Share Travel: 8.6
Top 10 Affiliate Categories by Market Share Home and garden: 7.4
Home and garden
Top 10 Affiliate Categories by Market Share Computer and electronics: 5.4
Computer and electronics
Top 10 Affiliate Categories by Market Share Education and training: 4.3
Education and training
Top 10 Affiliate Categories by Market Share Business: 4.1
Top 10 Affiliate Categories by Market Share Finance and insurance: 3.5
Finance and insurance
Top 10 Affiliate Categories by Market Share High-end and luxury stores: 3
High-end and luxury stores
Source: AMNavigator; BloggingX
Affiliate Marketers Statistics
Being an affiliate marketer is an ideal career many would love to have. Unlike regular jobs that usually pay by the hour, affiliate marketing keeps the cash flow running even when the affiliate is asleep. Affiliates also have complete control of their time and the products or services they want to support and gather commission from.
On the other hand, the convenience and the potential income this job offers, being an affiliate is not as easy as it may sound. In this section, we will share some relevant statistics that look into the demographics, income, and preferences of affiliate marketers.
54.23% of affiliate marketers are men and 42.97% are women. (Hallur, 2021)
31.86% of affiliate marketers are between 35 to 44 years old. (Hallur, 2021)
The seventh most desired skill set by employers involves affiliate marketing skills. (Awin, 2021)
64.48% of affiliate marketers generate the most traffic from quality blog content. (Nikolovska, 2021)
18.15% of affiliate marketers agree that relevance is the most important factor to consider when choosing a product. Moreover, the reputation of the affiliate program and the affiliate network should also be taken into consideration. (AffStat; 99firms Content, 2021)
51% of affiliates move on to the next option once they get rejected by an affiliate program. (Web Market Support, 2021)
Only 3.2% of affiliate marketers earn more than $150,000 annually. (Job2Joy; 99firms Content, 2021)
The majority of affiliate marketers (48.32%) make less than $20,000 a year. (Job2Joy; 99firms Content, 2021)
12% of affiliate marketers generate $75,000 in affiliate income alone. (Mediakix, 2020)
The number of products affiliate marketers prefer to promote falls between 1-10. (99firms Content, 2021)
83% of affiliate marketers raise brand awareness through affiliate marketing. (Hallur, 2021)
1% to 5% is the average conversion rate affiliate marketers can achieve. (Hallur, 2021)
48.69% of affiliate marketers prefer direct payments. (Hallur, 2021)
55.5% of affiliate marketers worked from home before the COVID-19 outbreak. (Web Market Support, 2021)
Latest Trends in Affiliate Marketing
Managing and running a successful marketing program requires the capability to keep up with the latest trends not only in technology but also in the factors that influence a consumer’s purchasing behavior. In the list below, we share some of the latest trends in affiliate marketing in 2021.
Businesses will continue to leverage the marketing opportunities offered by micro-influencers or content creators with less than 100,000 followers. (Hughes, 2020)
Affiliate content continues to increase and has grown by 175% in recent years. (Mediakix, 2020)
AI and voice search are two of the biggest trends in affiliate marketing as the number of digital assistant and smart speaker users is expected to reach 6.2 billion in 2022. (Mediakix, 2020; Juniper Research, 2020)
Cross-promotion between desktop and mobile devices is still a trend because of the traffic volume affiliate marketers generate from mobile devices. (Aguiar, 2020)
Automation tools will continue to enhance the effectiveness of various marketing processes, including affiliate marketing. (Hughes, 2020)
Source: Statista, 2021
How affiliate marketing can help businesses recover?
After surviving the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, affiliate marketing is now seen by some of the businesses as a key to their recovery. For instance, the marketing initiatives of retailers before the pandemic were spread across different strategies such as social media, retargeting, paid search, etc. However, after COVID-19 struck, retailers shifted their marketing focus to performance-based channels like affiliate marketing.
For businesses who are still in the process of getting their footing back, affiliate marketing can be an ideal option as it is not only less complicated to purchase but has also been proven to be highly effective in increasing conversion rates.
Affiliate Royale. 6 affiliate marketing trends for 2021. (2020, December 29). Affiliate Royale.
99firms Content. (2021, January 8). Affiliate marketing statistics. 99firms.
Jenny Chang is a senior writer specializing in SaaS and B2B software solutions. Her decision to focus on these two industries was spurred by their explosive growth in the last decade, much of it she attributes to the emergence of disruptive technologies and the quick adoption by businesses that were quick to recognize their values to their organizations. She has covered all the major developments in SaaS and B2B software solutions, from the introduction of massive ERPs to small business platforms to help startups on their way to success.
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